ok.. i am very new to guitar... only like two weeks. I have seen many tabs that say "palm mute"... Now i play an acoustic Washburn with steel strings..... How the heck do i palm mute? any help is greatly apprecitated
Eh, Palm muting only really works on an electric guitar through an amp, and generally with distortion. In involves muting the strings with the fleshy part on your picking hand to get a chunkier riffing sound.

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Eh, Palm muting only really works on an electric guitar through an amp, and generally with distortion. In involves muting the strings with the fleshy part on your picking hand to get a chunkier riffing sound.

cool thanks man i appreciate it.... Whats a stratacoustic? I see its one of your guitars.
yeah you cant really palm mute with acoustics.
if you get a electric guitar, try playing it with your wrist on top of the strings. thats palm muting
It's possible to palm mute on an acoustic, though it's harder and generally not used as much. John Mayer palm mutes on his acoustic a lot, just listen to "No Such Thing." All palm muting really is is just placing your PALM near the bridge so that it MUTES the strings.
hmmm i always thought palm mute was done with the left hand (if your a right handed guitar player) by placing your fingers over top of the chords and resting them so the string your playing dosent actually have a tone to it. Techinacally thats still a mute right?
Dont listen to the aboves, palm muting on acoustics is common and seen in many songs.

What you mention is a mute, but a palm mute doesn't mean to actually silence the strings, just dampen them to change their sound. A palm will be done with your picking/strumming hand. You just gotta rest your palm near the bridge while you play. Practice till you get the tone you want.


Watch that video, and ignore the Scrubs. That entire intro is palm muted.
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Yeah you can totally palm mute on an acoustic. You don't get so much of a chug-chug sound as you do with a distorted electric but you can still use it to make some sweet sounds.

There are a few ways of muting the strings when your playing (not just palm muting)

Here are two;

Palm Muting: is where you place your picking/strumming hand on the strings near the bridge. How heavy/how much contact you use depends on the sound you want. The more contact the more you will silence the strings and the more of a percussive sound you will get.

String Muting (might not be called that): Is what you mentioned with your fretting hand (left hand if you're right handed). You lay your hand/finger(s) on the string(s) as you strum/pluck them. This will give you a higher short sharp sound (assuming you don't have your finger on a Natural Harmonic spot (e.g. 5th, 7th, 12th fret)) than palm muting. This is used loads in acoustic playing, it really helps to make your playing sound interesting and rhythmical.

I'm gonna assume you know barre chords - in case you don't; all they are are chords played where you use 1 finger to fret more than 1 string; e.g. a G Barre Chord is fingered like this (fingers in brackets);

--3-- (1)
--3-- (1)
--4-- (2)
--5-- (4)
--5 --(3)
--3-- (1)

When you are looking at a tab these two types of muting are normally shown in the two following ways;

Palm Muting

p.m. __________ (you palm mute the bit under the line)

In this short tab you play the G Barre Chord once normally and then Palm Mute the G Barre Chord to get 4 shorter more percussive sounds.

String Muting

--3 ----x--3----x--3---------

In this tab you play the G Barre Chord normally (same as before). Then lay your fingers lightly across all the strings (just by using less pressure on the chord) to strum the first String Mute (for a short percussive sound). Then play a G Barre Chord normally. Then do the String Mute again. Then play the normal G Barre Chord again.

If you try these then you will see how they create a different sound and rhythm ... play about with them and see what different rhythms you can make. Just play around and do what you think sounds good - thats what guitar is all about in my opinion.

p.s. you don't have to use barre chords to do this - you can do it with open chords, just 1 string or anything in between.
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Last edited by Qazo at Aug 22, 2007,
Palm muting is done with the palm, hence the name. Work with it on electric guitar, preferably with distortion. Play letting the side of your right (picking) hand over top of the strings, above the bridge. Leave your hand in the air, and when you need to palm mute, press the side of your hand against the string. It will give it that 'muted' tone (like the early Metallica riffs use). If you see PM over top of a note in a tab, press the side of your hand gently on top of that string, then fret it. It should not ring clearly, but it shouldn't be too quiet either. It's taken me a year and a half and I've still not got it mastered. I had no clue what the hell it ws, but you will pretty much just discover it on your own once you get playing more.
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